Photos: Giant Fruit Tree Ripens Faneuil Hall

Choi Jeong Hwa's 'Fruit Tree' will be on view near Quincy Market through July 17.
mfa boston fruit tree

Photo by Madeline Bilis

At the spot near Faneuil Hall where a towering, brightly-lit Norwegian spruce shines during the holidays, another type of tree came to life on Friday.

A giant inflatable fruit tree was blown up there in front of crowds of onlookers. The tree—which contains both fruits and veggies—is an art installation that’s a part of the Museum of Fine Art’s Megacities Asia exhibition. Created by Seoul-based artist Choi Jeong Hwa, the public exhibit is aptly titled “Fruit Tree.”

To kick off the inflation ceremony, Mayor Marty Walsh said a few words about the contemporary sculpture, recalling a conversation with his longtime girlfriend, Lorrie Higgins.

“I was trying to explain…exactly what I was doing today,” said Walsh. “She said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow?’ Well, I’m going to blow up the fruit tree. And she said, ‘What is it?’ And I said, ‘We’re gonna put air in it.’ And she goes, ‘Do you know what you’re doing tomorrow? And I said, ‘I have no idea.'”

The 23-foot-tall artificial tree attempts to convey a sense of vitality, helping viewers to see the complexity of urban life in a new way.

‘This exhibition is really about the experience of a city and we’re so happy to bring ‘Fruit Tree’ to such a lively part of Boston,” said Jen Mergel, Beal Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the MFA.

Orange you going to go see it? Megacities Asia is on view through July 17.

mfa boston fruit tree

The pre-inflated tree. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Senior contemporary art curator Jen Bergel and Mayor Marty Walsh introduce the tree. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

A young onlooker inspects the tree mid-inflation. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

The tree is tethered to Marketplace Center by two wires. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Photos taken with the fruit tree can be exchanged for free admission to the MFA. / Photo by Madeline Bilis

mfa boston fruit tree

Photo by Madeline Bilis


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com